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Who will build my superyacht?

Posted on 15/ 06/ 2021

In collaboration with SuperYacht Times | Words by Kayla Dowling

After several yacht charter experiences, you decide to take the plunge and become the owner of the yacht of your dreams...Here are the best tips for choosing the shipyard that will build your custom-built superyacht… beyond your imagination!

• Define the way you’ll enjoy your superyacht
• Choose your type of superyacht
• Consider the time of building

What kind of vessel are you looking for?
This is the first thing to consider. The type of yacht you are looking for. Each shipyard has its own identity and strengths. To identify the shipyard that will build your yacht, it is important to consider the ways in which you plan to use your superyacht., as there are many different types of vessels. Among which:

Explorer: she will take you to all the seas of the planet. With a great autonomy to reach the most secluded areas, explorer yachts tend to offer a wide range of water toys and vehicles to go on an adventure (submarines, helicopters...). Germany produces some of the largest explorers out there, and perhaps it is to shipyards such as Lürssen and Abeking & Rasmussen that you should turn.

Mini-explorer: the Covid-19 pandemic, and the related sanitary constraints, have forced owners and future owners to restrict somewhat their choice of destinations and therefore their choice of yacht models. Mini-explorers, such as the 23.95-metre semi-custom explorer yacht Veronika, constructed by Bering Yachts offer owners the double advantage of explorer capabilities while allowing them to continue to navigate into smaller ports and marinas, such as those found on the Mediterranean. These vessels offer owners flexibility and optimise the potential of explorer and cruising yachts alike.

Conversion: Born from the hulls of pre-existing yachts, conversions are more financially approachable projects, and often have reduced lead times in comparison to a complete new build. Only a few yards in the world offer conversion services, so this will narrow down your search!

Flybridge: Opting for a flybridge yacht provides additional spaces for socialising as well as unadulterated views. If being closer to your natural surroundings is a priority for you, then a flybridge yacht may be your best bet. The Italian’s hold their own in this category, with Baglietto and Admiral leading the charge for flybridge yachts.

Cruiser sailing yacht: A cruiser sailing yacht can offer the comforts afforded by a motor yacht while providing a true sailing experience. Unlike a performance yacht, a cruiser places less emphasis on overall weight, shape and other crucial performance factors, allowing for additional living spaces, tenders and toys.

High-performance: For the true competitors, a high-performance sailing yacht pushes the current technological advancements to their limits. Often constructed from the top of the line, lightweight materials such as GRP and carbon fibre, while utilising the most current rigging systems.

Spirit of Tradition: Often built as an ode to the original, spirit of tradition sailing yachts provide a glimpse to our past while harnessing the technology of today. These vessels appear as a classic yacht but have been constructed from top of the range materials, and require less maintenance and up-keep than a vintage yacht. Dutch shipyards such as Royal Huisman specialise in spirit of tradition yachts, so if this type of vessel takes your fancy, look no further than the Netherlands!

What is your lead time?
Depending on the characteristics of your yacht, whether it is series production or custom-made, count on between less than two years and up to four years.

Shipyards such as Benetti, Sunseeker and Princess Yachts are known for their semi-custom, production yachts. Models such as the Benetti Delfino 95, the Sunseeker 100 and the Princess 35M, exemplify the benefit of opting for a project with a shorter lead time.

As the design, naval architecture and much of the preparation of these models are already complete, the build process is automatically expedited. Shorter lead times also often result in reduced costs.

Opting for a custom yacht will typically create a longer lead time as shipyards that are known for custom-built projects such as Lürssen, Feadship, Heesen Yachts and Nautor's Swan often have full schedules.

The choice of the shipyard is therefore also based on its commitment to deliver a yacht in a relatively short time. In Italy and Holland, builders anticipate future orders by investing in semi-custom, “speculative” yacht projects, which can be a highly desirable asset in meeting the client's "hurried" expectations.

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